GM Canada Starts up as Canada’s First Automotive Company at Communitech in Waterloo Ontario

“2908 at Communitech” innovation lab will accelerate disruptive innovation in urban mobility, connected vehicles and redefining the customer experience.


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WATERLOO, (February 4, 2016) – GM Canada president and managing director, Steve Carlisle, along with Iain Klugman, CEO, Communitech, today cut a “digital ribbon” to open “2908 at Communitech” -  the first automotive company in Canada to establish a lab presence at the leading Waterloo based accelerator.

“One of GM’s top priorities is to disrupt traditional automotive business models, including our own, in order to anticipate our customers’ needs, today and long into the future,” said Carlisle. “With changing technology, we see tremendous opportunities for GM, Ontario and Canada in an automotive future that is increasingly electric, connected, shared and autonomous. With ‘2908 at Communitech’, we will knock down old approaches, find new partners and boldly go where future mobility is headed.”

Initial areas of focus for the GM Canada team at Communitech will be to explore and experiment with advanced smartphone applications, and new ride-sharing services and approaches. The team will also explore new partnering opportunities to incubate new ideas for urban, multi-modal transportation systems that combine public transit, ride-sharing and advance the mandate of the Canadian Engineering Centre to build a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Volt vehicles.

Last year, GM Canada was awarded new connected car software and engineering mandates and it recently announced the company will do the builds of new autonomous driving electric vehicles in Oshawa Ontario to support GM’s recently announced autonomous vehicle test program at its Tech Centre in Warren Michigan.  The ‘2908’ team will also explore new opportunities in multi-modal transportation including new ways for customers and cities to integrate e-bikes, such as the one currently being engineered at its Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. GM recently announced its $500 million investment in Lyft and its plan to develop autonomous ride-sharing vehicles programs together. 

GM Canada Engineering Director Brian Tossan said, “We have been expanding our Canadian engineering team as we take advantage of local university R&D partnerships and the superb talent we see in places like Waterloo for software engineering, mechatronics and other skill sets that we need to help us grow even faster.

General Motors Executive Director, Global Functional Leader – Chassis Brandon Vivian said, “This is the kind of “smart” work we need to meet the transformative demand and pace of our industry – advanced, knowledge- based, value- added engineering and innovation work.” 

Iain Klugman said, “We are very excited to have a global automotive leader like GM selecting Communitech as a partner to help navigate and accelerate the rapid disruptive change sweeping through this industry. Automotive is the next big area for rapid growth in the ‘internet of things’ and we look forward to helping GM build strong partnerships and new approaches to urban mobility. ”

The name “2908 at Communitech” evokes a vision of General Motors 1000 years after the company’s founding in 1908 in Canada. GM has been Canada’s automotive engineering leader in Canada since it opened its Canadian Engineering Centre in Oshawa in 1999 and it has developed strong relationships with Canadian engineering suppliers and University R&D partners.

Read Steve Carlisle’s remarks at the opening at www.gminnovates.ca

About General Motors in Canada

Headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario, General Motors of Canada employs more than 9,000 people across the country.  GM Canada markets the full range of fuel-efficient Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles and related services through Canada's largest automotive dealer network. More information regarding GM vehicles can be found at www.gm.ca. To learn more about innovation and the future of the automotive industry visit www.gminnovates.ca or follow @GMCanada and #GMInnovatesCA on Twitter.




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